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8th-12th Grade Teen Nights

Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 PM

Check out what's being offered during Teen Nights Session 5, Spring 2021

Our 8th-12th graders create their own vibrant teen community on Wednesday nights, building relationships and engaging in deep learning opportunities taught by our clergy and educators. This pilot program for the 2020-2021 school year is an element of a new vision for teen education and engagement.

Our teen program centers on a major theme for each grade that students focus on throughout the school year, around topics such as identity building and social justice.  Through these learning sessions, students build relationships with clergy and educators and create ongoing bonds with their grade level cohort.  In 10th grade, Confirmation offers an important milestone along the Jewish teen journey, culminating in a meaningful, engaging ceremony.

In addition to core classes, teens are offered a selection of exciting elective opportunities to pursue their own interests from art journaling to gardening and more! In electives, teens will flex their creativity and connect with students outside their own grade to build a greater teen community!

The school year will be broken up into learning sessions that run 4-6 weeks long, alternating between cohort learning and elective sessions. These short sessions allow for fresh content to catch teens’ attention and to be gifted the opportunity to learn from a variety of clergy and educators. These bite-sized sessions also allow for multiple entry points for engagement as well as flexibility within the calendar year.

Schedule:

  • 7:00-7:15 PM  Group Check In by Age Cohort
  • 7:15-8:15 PM  Class
  • 8:15-8:30 PM  Teen Community “Schmooze Room”

Teens also have opportunities to build their leadership skills by serving as madrichim in our youth education programs or serving as peer leaders in our youth group, BATY. Learn more about Madrichim and BATY.

Vision for Teen Engagement and Development: Our vision is a teen-centered approach that allows our young people to draw from Jewish wisdom, values, and community to grow into the best versions of themselves. Teens will experience their adolescent years and emerge into adulthood with a stronger sense of self, a greater ownership of their own Jewish and educational experiences, a deeper connection with one another and the larger Jewish community, and a stronger conviction to give back and make the world a better place.

To that end, we are re-imagining our teen experience at Beth Am to ensure that it achieves four essential goals:

  1. Provides rich and relevant Jewish content that both immerses teens in Jewish wisdom and inspires them to look outward.
  2. Empowers teens to be creators and leaders of their own educational experiences.
  3. Connects teens to one another and the adult community at Beth Am, building deep and important relationships with Jewish peers and role models.
  4. Allows for multiple pathways of engagement so teens can pursue their own interests and passions and choose their level of involvement.

 

FAQs About Wednesday Evening Teen Programming

Q: Did you hear who is teaching on Wednesday nights?
A: Our clergy and education directors will be teaching in all grades on Wednesday nights, so you know it will be engaging and fun!

Q: Why Wednesdays?
A: We wanted to carve out a specific night for teens only! We know you have busy weeks but we hope you will show up when you can to this special teen night, just for you and our clergy and educators.

Q: What if my teen has other commitments and cannot make it right at 7:00 PM? Or what my teen needs to miss a few sessions in a row?
A: We are here for the teens; teens do not need to attend every Wednesday night class! We ask that they attend as much as they are able, even if that means coming in pajamas while finishing their dinner when we kick the night off!

Q: My teen has been on the screen a LOT and might not want to be online for this; what do you think?
A: We know the demands of screen time right now are high and we will be creating a space to engage and interact that is nothing like their formal academic education. We do not do grades. We do not demand a product from them. We DO want to socially and emotionally engage them in their Jewish community. This is essential to this time. We have also noted from our weekly BATY teen nights in the spring and summer that teens are craving connection; they were asking to stay on until bedtime to connect on Wednesday nights!

Q: Can we just defer a year and see you in Fall 2021?
A: We really hope our teens will show up even — or especially — during these trying times. We are a community through all kinds of up's and down's, and this is a time to come together and be there for one another. We can do this through learning, laughing and catching up on Wednesdays. We're excited about our pilot program and we want all teens on board to help build up this budding community. We would hate to have your teen miss out!

Q: What will our teens be learning?
A: Each grade has a special content theme along with electives every other session. Teens will explore relevant Jewish content, engage in art making, and become leaders and activists! Our learning sessions will be bite-sized blocks of 4-6 weeks and the topics will change each session. We'll be coming out with a "course catalogue" soon, and if you want the nuts and bolts, join us on September 15th for the detailed scoop.

Q: Is there going to be social justice learning? My teen is really into that!
A: YES! How could we ignore such an important topic? Each grade will have different levels of justice learning. Favorite topics from our past high school programs such as Civil Rights and Religious Action Center issues have been woven in to the curriculum and evolved to keep it fresh and relevant. "Tzedek tzedek tirdof — seek justice and pursue it."

Q: Can my teen be part of BATY or Madrichim and not partake in Wednesday night learning?
A: Well... we love that our teens want to step up to be a community members in various ways AND we really hope that they will attend Teen Nights on Wednesdays. This is where our community begins and where our teens can model their Madrichim leadership and add to their BATY learning by being with the larger teen community for Wednesday nights. Either way, we'll ask that families register for teen programs in order to have access to the BATY and Madrichim programs — registration information is available on our Youth Ed registration page.

Q: Will there be the cool travel and trips as in years past?
A: COVID-19 is unfortunately limiting our ability to travel this year, but trips will be back for sure in the future! We're thinking about how to continue and expand on travel programs and even dreaming up new ways for you to come together beyond our regular programs as soon as we can!

Q: What's going on with Confirmation?
A: Confirmation is an important part of Wednesday night programming! Just as in years past, teens will have the chance to bond with their classmates, learn with our rabbis, and think about what Judaism really means to them. The year will culminate in a meaningful student-led Confirmation ceremony and celebration. We hope your teen will be part of it.

Q: This all sounds awesome! How do we sign up?
A: Registration information is available on our Youth Ed registration page. (All you have to do is sign into ShulCloud!) If your teen is interested in applying to be a part of our Madrichim program or BATY Board, he/she should also independently fill out the appropriate application. These applications are due Friday, September 18, 2020.

BATY Board Application
Madrichim Application

Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyar 5781